New Year's eve found us going back to the beach. This time with GEAR.
We used to sleep on beaches all the time in our youth. Beaches, cars in beach parking lots, back stoeps of unoccupied seaside holiday homes. All illegal.
Back then our supplies list comprised of a kikoi, a dooswyn, and diving gear. Food was caught and cooked right there on a driftwood and kelp fire - crayfish, perlemoen, allekrik, fish.
Not so any longer. The dogs and the kids were the only ones left with any energy by the time we got settled in.
Not another soul to be seen. Us, the oyster-catchers, the seagulls and one putrefying seal in the next cove. Luckily the wind stayed in our favour.
Coolers, coolers, coolers, food, chairs, wood, toys .... tables, watermelon (a watermelon!), pots and pans. Lotsa ice. Dog blankets and food. Lotsa water.
All totally worth it.
31 December is all about the sunset actually (or sunrise on the 1st I guess if you're a morning person). At the end of the last day, or the beginning of the 1st, one should be somewhere, or with someone, meaningful I reckon. Whatever with this hype about midnight.
Midnight found us though - deep in our cups, roaring with laughter on those wild screaming beaches. A bonfire raging, various delicious bits 'n pieces being passed around as they came off the fire. At The Moment we walked down to the surf, fireworks exploding from 3 separate villages in the distance, laser beams of phosphorescence running up and down the breaking surf as far as the eye could see.
We screamed and whooped and smooched and cheered. The dogs ran mad gambits and the sea crashed in the background. We felt alive.
Later, crouching for a wee further down the beach my feet sparkled with phosphor in the sand. Later still I crept into a warm tent, nestled up to two small sleeping bodies and marveled at how loud the ocean really was.
After a few short hours screeching gulls woke me at dawn, then an inquisitive dog nose and finally the enthusiastic sunrise of 2016. The nerdy younger sibling of NYE's cool host, all 'Hey guys, what you doing? Isn't this exciting?' I doubt he ever gets the reception he expects.
A swim in the sea. A beer. A pita bread of pulled lamb, slow roasted overnight on an outdoor fire.
A private beach in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I can't think of a better way to start a year.